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Cole, Melissa Clinician Educator, Assistant Professor


Melissa Cole, DNP, MSW, RN-BC, FACHE, NEA-BC, is a clinician educator, assistant professor at The University of New Mexico (UNM) College of Nursing.  She has worked primarily in leadership positions across her 35 years in nursing, specializing in psychiatric nursing, quality, change management and consulting. She holds national certifications in informatics nursing, advanced nurse executive and is board certified healthcare executive.  Prior to joining faculty at the College of Nursing, Cole worked at Siemens and The Advisory Board Company, traveling the country implementing evidenced-based practice.  She held leadership positions at the University of New Mexico Hospital as director of ophthalmology clinics and surgical specialty clinics. She was also a Unit Based Educator in adult behavioral health. Cole developed and taught “ethics in healthcare management” for the master in administration program at UNM. She believes ethical leadership positively affects patient and staff outcomes.   

Cole presented her doctoral research, “how nurse leaders assess their ethical decision-making before and after an ethical decision making training”, internationally, just prior to joining the college in 2019.  As Past-President and Fellow, Cole served for five years on the Board of the New Mexico Chapter of American College of Healthcare Executives (New Mexico Healthcare Executives), is the Treasurer of Sigma Gamma Chapter State Board, and supports other healthcare and community boards.

Cole earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice from The University of New Mexico with a concentration in Nurse Executive Organizational Leadership, a Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Hope College.